PRESS and REVIEWS
Click on the links below for exciting reviews, interviews, and articles on the production process of my various shows.
REVIEW: Crowded Fire’s ‘Transfers’ demands fairness, and your attention (Lily Janiak, San Francisco Chronicle)
"Ken Savage’s direction makes every sharp turn in Thurber’s tone as smooth as a matter of course. Rosie and Cristofer might taunt and dare each other, then deflect and obfuscate, then peel away layers upon layers of defenses to reveal naked, ardently striving souls, but it all feels right and true because his actors keep each other in the unrelenting grip of communion. In each micro-beat, it’s as if they’re saying anew to each other, “Here’s what you’ve given me; here’s how I’m absorbing it; here’s what I’m giving you; how do you respond?”
"Ultimately, under the sharp direction of Ken Savage, every character comes fully to life over the course of a bit less than two hours."
"Thurber’s gift for examining issues of social class, privilege and opportunity in America resonates through her well-rounded characters, so lovingly portrayed here."
"This production is the best I have seen at Stanford in the past three years, partially because of its high quality of cast, staff, and musicians, but also because of its ability to be relevant."
"It is up to each production of Spring Awakening to get the audience to connect to the more antiquated parts of the show. The best productions make the audience question, are these things so oldschool after all? This was one such production. Its strongest asset, especially in comparison to other productions at Stanford, was the caliber of talent across the cast. Everyone could sing, everyone could dance, and everyone could act."
REVIEW: TAPS’ ‘Spring Awakening’ is an inaugural production to be remembered (Stanford Daily, October 2016)
"Spring Awakening is a carefully crafted combination of knockout student performances and a near-genius sense of staging."
"As an African-American playing Eliza, Ms. Williams naturally deepens the role by reminding us that the glass ceiling of this doomed palace world of 1912 restricts women and racial minorities alike. Her casting is thus brilliant on many levels."
"Along with a final, curtain-closing moment when Eliza literally has Henry eating out of her hand (versus the normal ending of her reluctantly handing him his slippers), directorial decisions begin to make a big difference in how we as a modern audience can accept this somewhat dated story. Kudos to Mr. Savage."
"Coy but not flirty, playful but not childlike, powerful but not overwhelming. In a shrewd move in Loewe's score, when Eliza adopts her new speech her songs take off into crystalline, opera-like arias that Williams holds and holds and holds"
"Playing yin to her yang is Solomon as the erudite professor, steely and masterful but pompous and immature. Solomon and director Ken Savage seem to get Higgins, particularly that he finds Eliza's rough edges just as offensive as we find his priggishness, so by watching him we understand how he understands everyone else."
"Director Ken Savage aims to highlight not only the important civil rights victories of the 1960s but also the racial disparities that still exist in American society 50 years later. While never heavy-handed, this directorial attention to the show's contemporary resonance... adds weight to what could otherwise be a fluffy, inconsequential Broadway romp."
"Ram's Head Theatrical Society, Stanford's oldest student-run theater group, has hit the triple-threat jackpot in casting its current production of Hairspray"
Stanford students draw parallels between civil rights movements in the 1960s and today in Hairspray (Stanford News - April 9, 2015)
An inside look at the development of Hairspray from racial themes to design. Hairspray performed to sold-out audiences in Stanford's 1600-seat Memorial Auditorium from April 10th-11th and 16th-18th. Click HERE for more info about the production and check out our video featuring clips from the show and interviews with our Tracy Turnblad and Motormouth Maybelle.
"It is a difficult work to execute properly, but Savage’s cast and orchestra do justice to the highly acclaimed musical."
"the production transcended its limitations, epitomizing what student theater should look like. Under the careful guidance of Ken Savage, “Sunday in the Park with George: in concert” made me forget that I was in Dinkelspiel Auditorium and not on Broadway"
REVIEW: Art, and what it means: A look at Sunday in the Park with George in Concert (Stanford Arts Review - December 11, 2014)
"Ken Savage’s stark and haunting staging of this mammoth work left his viewers contemplating the cost of their passions while providing hope for the possibility of creating something permanently beautiful and valuable."
"There was very little that lacked in the piece, a testament to Savage’s precision in enacting a clear vision. Savage skillfully utilized timing, distance, and energy on the bare stage to achieve beautiful images and expose interesting power dynamics between actors."
REVIEW: AATP's Production of My Fair Lady Re-imagines Popular Musical (The Stanford Daily - February 7, 2014)
"As Ken Savage ’14’s senior project for the Theater and Performance Studies major, the show deftly transforms the story of 'My Fair Lady' from a quaint tale of maneuvering vowel sounds to a compelling story of Asian identity formation in the Western world by exploring the cultural expectations surrounding speech, dress and behavior and questions of assimilation."
"director Ken Savage’s production exploded from the stage and captured my mind and soul, awakening within me an aptitude for acute recognition. I was subsumed, following a social commentary I had never seen My Fair Lady as capable of providing. I leaned into my seat as this story of British Asian immigrants unraveled in front of me, featuring characters whose racial identity informs their actions as much as it troubles them"
Determined students overcome challenges and breathe new life into a classic musical - My Fair Lady (Stanford News - January 28, 2014)
An inside look at the development of My Fair Lady from racial themes to design. Hairspray performed to two sold-out audiences in Stanford premier Bing Concert Hall on January 29th, 2014. Click HERE for more info about the production and check out our video featuring clips from the show and interviews with our Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins.
"Savage’s attention to detail in this production is uncanny – especially in such an intimate environment."
"The ingenuity of Savage’s direction is perhaps best displayed in Forsyth’s enchanting performance of “The Schmuel Song... From his brilliant old man impression to the cleverly handled puns and endearing dance moves used throughout the piece, the captivating artistic style of Savage’s work is unmistakable."